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Manchester Centre for Integrative Systems Biology


Systems Biology Seminar Series


Seminar: 9th April 2008


Dr Markus Kollmann

Humboldt University, Berlin


“Perfect Robustness against Non-Genetic Variations in Bacterial Signaling”



Bacterial signaling pathways can process environmental information with outstanding precision. This precision is conserved even in the presence of strong fluctuations in pathway component abundance. A well known example is the chemotaxis pathway of E.coli, which responds accurately to changes in chemo-ligand under conditions where the signal to noise ratio is much smaller than one. The fundamental question that arises is how such almost perfectly robust network structures have evolved stepwise from much simpler architectures without changing their primary function? To this end we have developed a general theory that generates systematically the complete space of perfectly robust network structures to a given function on bimolecular level. We show that the signatures of the underlying design principles for robustness have been discovered experimentally for many bacterial signaling systems.